Adoption Statistics: National Adoption Month

National Adoption Month: Foster care adoption statistics

For immediate release

Columbus, OH — On any given day in the U.S., more than 423,000 children are in the foster care system, and nearly 115,000 of them are available for adoption, just waiting for the right family to find them.

The month of November is a time for raising awareness of the tens of thousands of children who need loving, permanent families. Current foster care adoption statistics:

  • There are 423,773 children in the U.S. foster care system; 114,556 of these children are available for adoption. Their birth parent’s legal rights have been permanently terminated and children are left without a family.
  • More children become available for adoption each year than are adopted. In 2009, 69,947 children had parental rights terminated by the courts, yet only 57,466 were adopted.
  • Children often wait three years or more to be adopted, move three or more times in foster care and often are separated from siblings. The average age of waiting children is 8 years old.
  • Last year, 29,471 children turned 18 and left the foster care system without an adoptive family.
  • Adopting from foster care is affordable. Most child welfare agencies cover the costs of home studies and court fees, and provide post-adoption subsidies. Thousands of employers offer financial reimbursement and paid leave for employees who adopt and Federal and/or state adoption tax credits are available to most families.
  • Every child is adoptable. Many children in foster care have special needs. All of them deserve the chance to grow up in a safe, loving, permanent home. Support and other post-adoption resources are available.
  • Adopting from foster care is permanent. Once a child is adopted out of foster care, the birth parents cannot attempt to claim them or fight in court for their return. A family formed through foster care adoption is forever.
  • According to a National Adoption Attitudes Survey commissioned by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, 63 percent of Americans hold a favorable view of adoption and 78 percent think more should be done to encourage adoption.
  • Nearly 40 percent of American adults, or 81.5 million people, have considered adopting a child, according to the National Adoption Attitudes Survey. If just one in 500 of these adults adopted, every waiting child in foster care would have a permanent family.

About the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption: The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is a national nonprofit public charity dedicated to dramatically increasing the adoptions of the more than 150,000 children waiting in North America’s foster care systems. Created by Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas who was adopted, the Foundation implements results-driven national signature programs, foster care adoption awareness initiatives and research-based advocacy efforts. To learn more, visit DaveThomasFoundation.org or call 1-800-ASK-DTFA.

NOTE: Statistical source is Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System; Department of Health & Human Services (October 2009), unless otherwise stipulated.

CONTACT:
Rita Soronen, Executive Director
Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption
614-764-8482 or rita_soronen@davethomasfoundation.org

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